Larry and Diana Caillouet have been invited to race in this year’s Newport to Bermuda Race in their 1996 Oyster 55, Escapade. The race leaves Newport, Rhode Island on June 17. Depending on wind and sea conditions and skills of navigation and sailing, most of the fleet will cover the 635 miles to Bermuda in about 5 days. The biggest wild card in the race is crossing the Gulf Stream, which can significantly affect the weather and make this a race to be won or lost by the navigator. Finding the best way to minimize the northward flow of the stream and capitalize on its southward eddies is often the secret to finishing well. This year’s race has 200 monohulls ranging from some 36-38 footers to the 100-foot speed demon Comanche which holds the monohull speed record of sailing 618 miles in a single 24-hour period.
Escapade will race with a crew of six men including Richard Collins and Larry from Bowling Green, one from Indiana, one from California, and two from Connecticut. Diana will not be onboard for the race but will meet the crew in Bermuda and cruise back to Annapolis from there.
Larry and Diana are using this race to prepare the boat and themselves for long distance cruising after the race. The Newport Bermuda Race has very strict and specific safety requirements for equipment and crew training. Larry says “Money spent on safety is wasted–until you need it” so he and Diana are hoping that it will all be wasted.
Escapade will be racing in the Cruiser Division which is for cruising boats with amateur helmsmen.